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Countdown To A Republic: Frequently Asked Questions

Countdown To A Republic: Frequently Asked Questions
Soldiers from the Barbados Defence Force going through their paces ahead of this year’s Independence Day parade. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

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As Barbados makes the transition to a republican state, there remain many questions on the minds of citizens at home and abroad, as well as among friends of Barbados.

The following are some answers to frequently asked questions as we move ahead to assert ourselves as a truly independent, self-determining nation:

What type of republic will Barbados become?

Barbados will be a parliamentary republic with a non-executive President.

Will the name of the country change?

The island will still be referred to as ‘Barbados’.

Will Barbados remain a member of the Commonwealth?

Yes, Barbados will continue to be a member of the Commonwealth and maintain the spirit of its relations with the members of this important developmental institution.

Will the Barbados dollar be devalued?

The Barbados dollar will continue to be pegged to the US dollar as it has always been and will not be devalued.

Will November 30 change from Independence Day to Republic Day?

No.  The people of Barbados will continue to celebrate Independence Day on November 30.

Countdown To A Republic: Frequently Asked Questions

Will citizens be issued with new passports?

Existing passports will remain valid, while passports issued after November 30, 2021 will refer to the President instead of the Governor General

 Will Barbadians require a visa to visit the United Kingdom?

There are not confirmed plans by the UK government to require Barbadians to secure a visa in order to travel there.

 Will any of our national emblems change (flag, broken trident, coat of arms, etc.)?

There are no plans to change our national emblems at this time.  However, these can be raised over the coming year as we review our national constitution.

 Will any changes be made to our Anthem and Pledge?

The national anthem will remain the same pending feedback from the citizens of Barbados on our new Republican Constitution.

 What will become of ‘Crown Land’ after we become a republic

‘Crown land’ will simply be referred to as state land or government land in Barbados.

 Is the Charter the new constitution?

The Charter is a non-binding declaration of the principles of the people of Barbados once we become a republic.

 Why are we replacing ‘God’ with ‘Creator’ in the Charter?

The use of the term Creator is simply to recognise the religious freedoms enjoyed by all Barbadians and to ensure that there is greater inclusivity as we move forward.

Will the President be stripped of any roles or responsibilities now held by the GG?

No, the powers and responsibilities of the existing Governor General will remain under the non-executive President

 What changes will be made to the insignia of the Barbados military and the police force?

The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) will be issued with new uniforms in the new presidential colours and the Barbados Coast Guard will be given a new ensign.

Will the Royal Barbados Police Force be renamed?

Yes.  It will become the Barbados Police Service.

Source: Public Affairs Department, Government of Barbados